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Combat! is an American television program that aired on ABC from 1962 until 1967. (The exclamation point in "Combat!" was a stylized bayonet.)

Created by Robert Pirosh, Combat! ran for five seasons, of which the first four are in black and white, with a move to color for the final season. The show covered the lives of a squad of American soldiers in France during World War II. Although the series ran five seasons, King Company never fought its way out of France.

CBS Television Distribution (inherited from ABC Films, Worldvision Enterprises and Paramount Television) owns American television distribution rights to the series, while Disney-ABC International Television has international rights—original producer and copyright holder Selmur Productions was once a division of ABC Films, now CBS Television Distibution. On the US DVD releases, the copyright to the series was credited to Buena Vista Television (now ABC Studios).

Cast



Regular cast members were: Rick Jason as 2nd Lt. Gil Hanley, Vic Morrow as Sgt. Chip Saunders, Jack Hogan as Pvt. William G. Kirby, Pierre Jalbert as Pfc. Paul "Caje" LeMay, Shecky Greene (first season only) as Pvt. Braddock, Conlan Carter as "Doc," and Dick Peabody as Pvt. "Littlejohn."

Guest stars appeared as additional squad members, French citizens or German soldiers. In the first season, the then little-known Ted Knight and Frank Gorshin made appearances. Other notable guest stars included Lee Marvin, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, Richard Basehart, Eddie Albert, Nick Adams, Randy Boone, James Caan, Leonard Nimoy, Baseball Hall of Famermarker Warren Spahn, Mike Farrell, Beau Bridges, and Robert Duvall. The program was produced by Robert Blees, Robert Altman (briefly), Richard Caffey, Gene Levitt, and Richard Maibaum. The executive producer was Selig J. Seligman. Ten episodes were directed by Altman, who went on to make M*A*S*H and other acclaimed films.

Military connection

Most of the cast members were World War II veterans. Vic Morrow, Jack Hogan, Dick Peabody and Shecky Greene all served in the U.S. Navy, while Rick Jason served in the Army Air Corps. Conlan Carter served in the U.S. Air Force during the post-Korean War era.

Syndication outside the US

"Combat!" is a successful series in Brazil and Argentina, where it has been aired on and off since the seventies. It is currently being aired on the TCM cable channel and on Fox Classics in Australia.

Releases

Video game

The Super Famicom game, Sgt. Saunders' Combat!, was based on the television show and only released in Japan. It allowed players to re-enact crucial World War II battles in Western Europe and North Africa.

DVD

Image Entertainment has released the entire series on DVD (Region 1). They released each season in two-volume sets in 2004 and 2005. On December 6, 2005, Image Entertainment released a 40-disc boxed set featuring all 152 episodes. Each season set as well as the complete series set features various extras including commentaries, oddities, bloopers, and photo galleries.

However, all episodes are the time-compressed versions that were distributed by WorldVision for syndication (each coming in at 46-47 minutes, instead of the original runtime, which was 50-51 minutes). [128259]

The FAQ for the shows' mailing list also confirms exactly that.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date

Season 1 - Campaign 1 16 August 20, 2004
Season 1 - Campaign 2 16 August 20, 2004
Season 2 - Mission 1 16 November 30, 2004
Season 2 - Mission 2 16 November 30, 2004
Season 3 - Operation 1 16 March 29, 2005
Season 3 - Operation 2 16 March 29, 2005
Season 4 - Conflict 1 16 May 24, 2005
Season 4 - Conflict 2 15 May 24, 2005
Season 5 - Invasion 1 12 August 30, 2005
Season 5 - Invasion 2 13 August 30, 2005
The Battle Box (Complete Series) 152 December 6, 2005


References

Davidsmeyer, J. (1996, 2008) Combat! A Viewer's Companion to the Classic WWII TV Series. Strange New Worlds: Sarasota FL.

External links

  • CombatFan.com, Combat! fan site, established 1996. The site hosted the first two Combat! cast reunions.



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